Our research

The Institute of Applied Health Research targets health burdens and inequalities across the lifespan locally and globally through two broad themes:

  • population health and primary care research
  • healthcare evaluation and methodology

We conduct research to inform practitioners and policy makers on novel ways to improve health. The Institute also has an extensive portfolio that we broadly describe as ‘methodological’, that would ultimately underpin the efforts to tackle major health problems globally.  Our experts provide key inputs to a wide range of applied health and translational research in the University and beyond.

Research themes

Biostatistics, Evidence Synthesis and Test Evaluation

Theme lead: Jon Deeks

The Biostatistics, Evidence Synthesis and Test Evaluation team undertakes research including the application and  development of methods for test evaluation, evidence synthesis, including systematic reviews and meta-analysis, and the evaluation of  interventions, particularly through cluster trials and stepped-wedge designs.

The Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit (BCTU)

Theme lead: Peter Brocklehurst

The BCTU provides the scientific, technical and computing expertise needed to support clinical trial research from conception through to completion.  The BCTU’s principal function is to provide specialist input into all stages of academic clinical trial development from design to publication. The BCTU collaborates with a large number of clinical investigators at a local, national and international level.

Child, Maternal and Lifestyle

Theme lead: Kate Jolly

The Child, Maternal and Lifestyles research group undertakes research which aims to improve maternity care, the health of children and to improve health behaviours in the general population, pregnant women, children and people with long-term health problems.

Chronic Disease Epidemiology and Management

Theme leads: Neil Thomas (Epidemiology), Peymane Adab (Management)

The chronic disease research team undertakes research to improve our understanding of disease aetiology, identify modifiable prognostic factors, and develop, evaluate and implement interventions that improve health, with a focus on tacking health inequalities.

Health Economics Unit

Theme lead: Tracy Roberts

The Health Economics Unit seeks to provide an internationally competitive contribution to health economics research through a coherent balance of methodological and applied research, informing policy and resource allocation locally, nationally and internationally. 

 

Health Informatics and Patient Reported Outcomes

Theme lead: Mel Calvert

Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) measure patients’ views about the impact of disease and treatment and are reported directly by the patient.

The Centre for Patient Reported Outcome Research (CPROR) promotes excellence in PROs Research and Education

CPROR aims are to promote the efficient integration of PROs in the NHS, by:

  • Building capacity for applied and methodological PROs research to evaluate PROs use in routine care and as part of ‘big-data’.
  • Supporting clinicians, trials units, ethics committees, funders, regulators and policy makers to ensure high quality, ethical, efficient PRO data collection.
  • Providing education, training and support for optimal use and integration of PROs in clinical trials and routine care.
  • Working in partnership with patients and the public, clinicians and policy makers to ensure PRO data collected in routine care and trials meets their needs.
  • Build on existing international collaborations with clinicians, funding bodies, regulatory agencies, methodologists and industry.

PROlearn is a freely accessible information resource for patients, clinicians and researchers wishing to find out more about PROs.

Social Studies in Medicine

Theme lead: Jonathan Reinarz

Team members represent the fields of sociology, anthropology, ethics, history and qualitative methods.  Research and teaching focuses on institutional, technological, ethical and cultural determinants of medical knowledge and health and social care practices.  The Unit offers courses and programs at undergraduate and graduate levels (MA and PhD) which examine the social and qualitative side of medicine, health and society. SSiM organises seminars and workshops, that bridge disciplinary boundaries, and provide an affiliation for visiting scholars wishing to explore medicine’s social or historical developments. 

Global Health Research and Education

Research

We have an extensive portfolio of multi-disciplinary research addressing major global health challenges, and we are continually looking for other research opportunities in this area.

Education

We aim to increase knowledge of these issues and provide the skills to be able to locally address the health burden through increasing access to our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. All our innovative, high quality programmes offer a Global Health perspective, particularly:

Our programmes are delivered by highly experienced multi-disciplinary research staff with a considerable breadth of knowledge and designed to provide our students with the skills required to understand Public Health in a Global context.

 

In addition, we host or are closely involved with a number of leading centres:

Primary Care

About us

Primary Care is an international centre of primary care excellence which aims to build capacity and promote interdisciplinary working in primary care research and education.

Primary care is the ‘first point of contact care’ based in the community, incorporating many areas of nursing, practice management and administration, dentistry, community pharmacy and a many other allied healthcare providers.

The University of Birmingham has a proud history as the home to one of the first centres for academic primary care in the country, having been established for over a quarter of a century, and our network of research active practices formed the template for similar networks nationwide. We currently have around 400 research active GP practices ‘on the books’ and these are managed via the Primary Care element of the Clinical Research Network (CRN), which delivers practical support to facilitate research in GP practices.

Primary Care at Birmingham is proud that it hosts one of the largest and most successful programmes for training Academic GPs in the UK, this programme allows GP Academic Clinical Fellows to experience research, teaching, leadership and management at the University of Birmingham and to be trained in and participate in each – creating future leaders for the profession. 

Research

Focusing on applied and translational research under five main programmes:

  • Behaviour change
  • Health Informatics
  • Primary Care Diagnostics
  • Chronic Disease
  • Healthcare quality

In addition to these, we have the following cross-cutting methodological themes

Twitter feed

Follow us on Twitter: @UoBPrimaryCare

Centre for Patient Reported Outcome Research (CPROR)

CPROR aims are to promote the efficient integration of PROs in the NHS, by:

  • Building capacity for applied and methodological PROs research to evaluate PROs use in routine care and as part of ‘big-data’.
  • Supporting clinicians, trials units, ethics committees, funders, regulators and policy makers to ensure high quality, ethical, efficient PRO data collection.
  • Providing education, training and support for optimal use and integration of PROs in clinical trials and routine care.
  • Working in partnership with patients and the public, clinicians and policy makers to ensure PRO data collected in routine care and trials meets their needs.
  • Build on existing international collaborations with clinicians, funding bodies, regulatory agencies, methodologists and industry.

Find out more about the Centre for Patient Reported Outcome Research (CPROR)

NIHR Research Design Service West Midlands

Research Design Service West Midlands provides help on research design to researchers in the West Midlands who are developing proposals for open, national, peer-reviewed funding competitions for applied health or social care research.
 
We are funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and our advice is provided free of charge.  It is available through the use of online resources and consultations with experts. 

Find out more about the NIHR Research Design Service West Midlands

NIHR CLAHRC (Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care)

NIHR CLAHRC West Midlands is a five-year initiative funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and matched funds provided by local health and social services. The initiative builds on the successful CLAHRC for Birmingham and Black Country pilot with a mission to create lasting and effective partnerships across health and social care organisations, universities (Birmingham, Keele and Warwick) to improve the services we can deliver for patient benefit.

Find out more about NIHR CLAHRC (Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care)

NIHR Clinical Research Network

The NIHR Clinical Research Network is the clinical research delivery arm of the NHS. We operate nationally across England through a national coordinating centre and 15 local branches delivering research in the NHS across all disease areas.

The NIHR Clinical Research Network: West Midlands is hosted by The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust. The host is responsible for ensuring the effective delivery of research in the Trusts, primary care organisations and other qualified NHS providers throughout the West Midlands area.

Find out more about the NIHR Clinical Research Network